SPD officers commended for helping armed teen in mental distress

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SPD officers commended for helping armed teen in mental distress
Photo courtesy of the San Pablo Police Department

San Pablo police are hailing a team of officers who came to the aid of a teenager suffering from a mental health crisis Wednesday night.

Police responded to the home after the teenager had armed himself with a knife and barricaded himself inside a room, police said. Officer Cameron Banayat, who works with the SPD’s Juvenile Education Welfare Liaison team, responded as he had previously been working with the teen and his family to get him assistance for his condition. Sgt. Aaron Blaisdell led a team that safely evacuated the family and set up a perimeter while Officer Banayat established communication to de-escalate the situation, police said.

The teen dropped his knife following 20 minutes of negotiation, agreed to come out and meet with the officer. He was subsequently sent to a hospital for treatment, police said.

“Officer Banayat will be following up with the family to provide much needed support and resources,” police said.

SPD commended the commitment of the officers to “slow things down and de-escalate a potentially violent encounter.” The collaborative actions of Banayat, Blaisdell, as well as Officers Amar Kullar, Monica Louis, Sandra Trevino, Javier Rios, and Tyler Nelson, resulted in an incident where no one was injured and help was provided for a family in need.

“The San Pablo Police Department’s JEWL Program (Juvenile Education Welfare Liaison), has continued through the past year during the pandemic,” according to SPD. “This important resource allows officers to continue to deliver the G.R.E.A.T. Program to students and families to keep our youth away from dangerous life choices, such as gangs and drugs.”